I really want to give this book a one star rating, because the more I read on, the more I disliked the lead characters Bevan and Genevieve.
The book itself is not bad. The tension held on well for the first 60%. Bevan, a widower, was frustrating as the hero. His obsession over his first wife Fiona really bothered me. I am rarely bothered by assholey or boorish behaviors of men in romance stories. Most of the time their actions speak louder than words. As long as I can be convinced of their true feelings, it matters not to me what they say, even if they say really outrageous things.
But Bevan oh Bevan I wanted to kick him. I don't know why Michelle Willingham wrote him this way. This guy is so obviously not over his first wife. If you want to have a widower as a hero, he has to be at least like Sir Ross Cannon in [b: Lady Sophia's Lover|197743|Lady Sophia's Lover (Bow Street Runners, #2)|Lisa Kleypas|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348288082s/197743.jpg|2417332]. He doesn't need to have an unhappy first marriage, but I find it distasteful how Bevan held on to Fiona's memories and held them against Genevieve.
And Genevieve, I have nothing against her character. But I also wanted to kick her because, woman, can you not see that this man is still grieving his wife? Why would you want to "win his heart"? If you have to "win" him, you are the loser. Matters of the heart are like this. It either happens or does not happen. As I read on I became more and more furious at Genevieve. Can you not think of other people's pains except for your desires and longings? If he chose to live in the past, what right do you have to tell him otherwise? Genevieve married Bevan, promising that they would live separate lives. Then she changed her mind, all of a sudden. No no why wouldn't Bevan love her? She was jealous but at the same time oh she could not help but want him. I don't know how to describe my disgust. Take it or leave it, woman. You made your bed, now lie in it. All the useless whining is humiliating.
And the plots. Man I did not see that coming. It turned out Fiona was not dead. Nor was Bevan's daughter dead. They were both alive. Fiona fell in love with another man and ran away from Bevan. She staged her death and her daughter's death, which did not really make sense in terms of timeline. Once this secret was revealed the book took an downturn rapidly. Bevan became even more obsessed with his first wife, wanting to "bring her home even if she did not want to come back". And Genevieve wanting to go with him to find Fiona, claiming that he was still her husband until Fiona was proven to be alive.......At this point I was angry at both of them. What is wrong with you people? Your wife left you, man. She went to the length of staging her own death and you wanted to bring her home because you loved her?? And Genevieve, this man was so blind that he let you go right away, telling you that the marriage was over, and you still held on to him until you were so close to finding out whether Fiona was alive and you flipped out??
I mean their actions just don't make sense to me. Why would Genevieve tolerate Bevan's obsession over Fiona and why would Bevan held on to Fiona for as long as he did? It was infuriating to say the least.
I really must mention another fact that bothered me about Genevieve. Bevan refused to consummate the marriage because he vowed to remain faithful to Fiona. So what does our Genevieve do? She went around holding babies and looking at them longing for one for her own. I mean the sentiment is easily understood, but woman, have you not chosen this yourself? What is the point of lamenting something of your own doing? If anything, Bevan did not bring this on you. You did this to yourself, to want love from a man who cannot love you.
Ah I wanted to give this book 3 stars. But after writing this review I despised the lead characters too much. It really is a shame because the story was interesting itself. Alas, I find Bevan and Genevieve 2 outrageously unlikable characters. I truly dislike both of them. Bevan's brothers though seem much more tolerable. I shall move on from Bevan and Genevieve. Rarely do I encounter a couple like them in romance stories. I had a mind to break their fictional necks.